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For 91 Days

¡Hola, Oviedo!

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Hola Oviedo, and hasta pronto Valencia. In a few days, we’ll be packing up our things and moving to the beautiful capital of Asturias for three months. August, September and October will be spent drinking cider.

Since we won’t be here, Hola Valencia will be taking a little breather. But you can follow our Asturian adventures on a new blog:
http://oviedo.for91days.com/ and twitter account: http://twitter.com/for91days

Oviedo

The name “For 91 Days” might give you a hint of the direction in which we’re taking our lives. Basically, we’ll be keeping our furniture and permanent address in Valencia, which will be our base. But for most of the year, we’ll be spending 3 months at a time in random cities around Spain, Europe and the rest of the world. Our jobs are totally mobile, and we’re both born travelers, so we’re really excited to get out there.

We’ll pick the blog back up when we return to Valencia. But right now, we’ve got to start packing for our temporary move to the northern coast! In this heat, the cool Asturian climate is sounding really good.

What are your thoughts about Oviedo? Have we picked a good city to live for a few months?

Car Rentals in Oviedo

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July 20, 2010 at 8:18 am Comments (2)

Bike Tour around the Montgó: Dénia-Xàbia

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For my birthday, Jürgen and I went biking around the mountain of Montgó. Separating the vacation cities of Dénia and Xàbia, the Montgó raises to over 2400 feet and has an impressive, plateau-like profile visible from miles in every direction.

The Volta al Montgó takes from 2-3 hours, though you should plan on 4 hours if (like us) you constantly pause for pictures. Besides a short but brutal climb into the hillside town of Jesús Pobre, the tour is easy — either flat or downhill. And the nature and beauty of the area is breathtaking.

We rode through grape fields, groves of olives and orange trees, and into some areas that felt untouched by the passage of time. I loved contemplating the Montgó’s various faces as we circled it, and the mountain’s constant, imposing presence was a comforting sign that we hadn’t gotten lost.

The land around the Montgó is a natural park which contains some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Spain. Over 50 endemic plant species join animals like eagles, owls, badgers and wild boar. The only wild creature I saw was a crazy photo-snapping German (Fotographus Alemanus), but that didn’t make the trip any less exciting.

Midway through the trip, we stopped for lunch in the quiet town of Jesús Pobre (I can’t get over that name). Situated on the foothills of the inland side of Montgó, the village boasts an excellent view over the landscape. Replenished by paella, we enjoyed an easy, downhill trip into the southern end of the mountain, La Vall de Sala. We stopped by a cemetery and arrived in Xàbia at around 5.

That left us enough time to lay on the beach and swim in its crystal blue water. Gorgeous, and the perfect reward for a day of exercise. But our trip wasn’t done yet! In order to return to Dénia, we hopped on a 40-minute ferry around the cape. Cliffs shot vertically from the water, with a blinking lighthouse atop them. The sun was beginning to wane a little, and it was an incredible ending to an incredible day.

We can really recommend this tour to bikers of any fitness level or experience. It’s easy, though not particularly well-marked — especially coming into Xàbia and in Jesús Pobre, a few important signs are missing. But bring a map, and you’ll be fine. The tourist offices in both Dénia and Xàbia have itineraries of the path.

Tips:

Book the Mini Cruise here
Best way to get to Dénia from Valencia with Bikes
Low Bugdet Dénia / Low Budget Javea aka Xàbia
Hotels in Dénia / Hotels in Xàbia

Cruz Denia
XXX
Flores España
Rapunzel Tower
Book Market
Stierkampf Bar
Denia
Minarette Spain
Kaktus Blüte
Korn Blume
Monkey Bubble Tree
Montgo Montaña
Berg Montgo
Spanische Trauben
Green Spain
Sneaky Photographer
Paella Jesus Pobre
Dog in Spain
Graveyard
Spanischer Friedhof
Dead
Three Towers in Spain
Beach Javea
Hunk Fishing
Sailing Boat Javea
Waiting for the Ferry
Denia Javea Crise
Lighthouse Javea
Lighthouse Javea
Berg Javea

Bite Away


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July 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm Comments (6)

Valenbisi: The City’s New Bike Rental Service

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There’s been talk of a city-wide bike rental scheme for a long time, and it’s finally here. Introducing Valenbisi.

We lived in Berlin, where the Deutsche Bahn (the railway company) operated a very popular bike rental service. You’d just type the bike’s serial number into your cell phone, hop on, then park it when done. Very practical, and we’ve been aching for Valencia for implement such a system.

So Valenbisi, run by the city government, is very welcome. Bikes are the best way to get around Valencia, bar none, and we think that the service is going to be extremely popular. The bikes look sturdy and strong. The prices are reasonable — €10 for a 7-day subscription — the first 30 minutes are always free, then it’s €0,50 for the next 30 mins and €3,00 for every additional hour.

There’s at least one major problem: the dispersal of the “rental stations”. They’re all in the same area of town! I’d like to say that this was just a roll-out problem, but … check out this map. The red arrows are the current rental stations, and the white ones are the “future” ones:

Not a single station anywhere in the historic center? Ruzafa? The train station? There must be a reason, but tourist friendly, it’s not. Great for students of the U of Valencia, and perhaps that’s the true target market. (Though if you’re targeting hip college students, this might not be the best image to put on your website).

Update: The consensus in the comments is that the bikes will be better distributed throughout the city in the future, and there’s a link for future locations can be found there. Valenbisi should put this information on its website.

Anyway — the addition of 2750 bikes to Valencia’s streets is extremely welcome. We need more bikers on the streets, which will lead to better bike paths and more respect from drivers.

We’d love some comments from anyone who’s used the service, in regards to the quality of the bikes and the ease of rental.

Valenbisi’s Web Site (with really bad English! Seriously, guys, hire a translator! There are a few native English speakers in the city)

Holiday Rentals / Hostels / Hotels

Cheap Car Hire

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June 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm Comments (7)

Our Trip to Segovia – Part II

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Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

Segovia is an extremely picturesque city. I really couldn’t stop taking shots while we were there, and have so many great images that we had to split it up into two posts. Enjoy this second glance of the wonderful city an hour north of Madrid. Our first post on Segovia can be found here.

 

photographer-in-Segovia

storchs-in-love

pascua-segeoia

segovia-towrs

alcazar

Carlos-III-Segovia

Carlos-I-Segovia

aqua-de-segovia

jaume-moors-slayer

segovia-chairs

segovia-knight

knights

kings-and-queens-of-spain

fernando-y-isabel

king-of-the-castle

golden-ceiling

segovia-arts

golden-nipples

bed-of-a-king

segovia-bush

dead-woman-of-segovia

happy-bumble-bee

reading-the-newspaper

me-and-my-balloon

segovia-cafe

segovia-urlaub

sphinx-segovia

churches-segovia

 iglesia-Segovia

segovia-music

magicla-segovia

 vacation-segovia

saving-energy-in-segovia

dragon-bell-segovia

ceiling-segovia-cathedral 

benches-church

kirche-segovia

play-of-light

jesus-feet

segovia-candles

bear-paw

altar-segovia

kreuzgang-segovia

Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

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April 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm Comments (6)

Granada – Random Photos

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Hotels in GranadaHostels in GranadaFlights to Granada

This will be our last Granada post (I promise), a random collection of pictures taken during our trip there. Enjoy!

himalaya-spain

clean-spain

rich-granada

strairs-granada

granada-house

granada-panorama

picture-wall-granada

granada-iglesia

mosaic-granada

angel-boy

balcony-granada

 granada-prison

 granada-drain

 granada-apple

croisant-granada

tostadas-granada

 flowerwork-granada

 granada-tio

 hidden-alhambra

granada-music

granada-bike

 dude-no-face

 swan-door

street-art-granada

granada-fountain

oh-deer

More from Our Granada Trip

Buy your Granada guides here. Click for: USA, UK, Germany, Spain

Free Days on the Rail - Student Exclusive

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April 2, 2010 at 10:32 am Comment (1)

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